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Seema Bansal of Boston Consulting Group interacts with Rameet Arora of Hindustan Times in the second episode of HT Brand Studio Live, Season 2.
Seema Bansal of Boston Consulting Group interacts with Rameet Arora of Hindustan Times in the second episode of HT Brand Studio Live, Season 2.

Successful brands are always driven by purpose, say brand leaders

In the second episode of Season 2, HT Brand Studio, six brand leaders shared their take on building brands that can be catalysts for change


It is not easy to build an enduring bond with consumers.

In order to build a successful enterprise, it is important for brands to identify, adopt, incorporate and communicate a purpose that inspires their audiences to connect with them.

Brand purpose is important especially when marketing to millennials. Many of them prefer brands that drive social, environmental or any other cause that they associate themselves with.

Six top marketers got together to discuss building brands with purpose, in the second episode of Season 2, HT Brand Studio Live, on Tuesday.

HT Brand Studio Live is a series that gets the brains behind India’s top brands to decode marketing innovations and more. It is anchored by Rameet Arora, Chief Operating Officer, HT Digital Streams, and co-hosted by HT Brand Studio and DMAasia.

“It is important to put purpose at the core and build businesses around it. Business good and social good should be linked. If you build brands by doing things, then you strike a deeper connect with consumers," said Vijay Sharma, Head, Emerging Markets Acceleration Team, GSK Consumer Healthcare.

Best businesses are built around passion. SHEROES, for instance, is a great example of how a brand has made way for an empowered community of women.

“It is important to know your life goals. A business should be a means to fulfil those goals. Everything we do at SHEROES has one core principle at heart – it should impact women positively," said Sairee Chahal, Founder and CEO, SHEROES.

Marico Innovation Foundation’s Scale-Up programme is all about identifying innovations and helping them grow in tangible manner. “We have tied this programme with Marico’s core philosophy of making a difference and embracing innovation. Young entrepreneurs need help in certain areas to scale up and sustain their businesses. Our programme helps them connect with the right set of people," shared Priya Kapadia, Head, Marico Innovation Foundation.

However, it is important for purpose-driven brands to realize that they need go beyond episodical philanthropy to build sustainable businesses and enduring relationships with consumers. “You need to get married to a cause. In order to do that, brands should be willing to work along with other partners, including government agencies, and become a platform for solving larger social problems," explained Debasis Ray, Head-Public Affairs & Spokesperson, Tata Trusts.

Working with multiple stakeholders is essential to create measurable impact, concurred Seema Bansal, Partner and Director, BCG's Social Impact Practice in the Asia Pacific region.

“Policymakers, students, teachers and parents need to come together to create a holistic ecosystem for social change. To measure actual impact, go out on the field and reflect on how interventions are getting absorbed into the ecosystem," she said.

So, how do brands make a long-lasting impact? “The only way impact can be felt is by pumping resources for innovation and scaling up. To scale up, you need to generate profit. If you do want to make an impact, you need to be profitable," concluded Atul Pokhriyal, VP, XSEED Education.

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